The main goal of ‘feminist perspectives and theories’ is to understand gender and gender related issues. Feminism or women’s activism is a movement aimed at establishing equal social, economic and political rights. A feminist or women’s activist is a person who participates in a feminism movement. Feminism movement to some people may mean a positive and empowering movement, but for others, it may portray a bad image. Over the last two decades, the global development of capitalism has depended mostly on women entering into formal workforce, and profits have been extracted from the available and capable cheap labor provided by women. Studies show that the number of women in formal workforce has doubled over the last 20 years (Kirk and Okazawa, 5).
Some people tend to think that women’s activism is evil, and they talk about how women’s activists hate men and how they want to go against nature and God. They think of women’s activist as women who want to take all jobs and make life difficult for men, but most of them have never come close to women’s activism to know what it’s all about. Women’s activism is about women having equal rights. Women’s activism movement is meant to end sexism and class elitism. Due to the way we are brought up females can be just as sexist as males thus people should not see the movement as being for women against men (Hooks, 64-66).
Women’s activist movements could be of many versions just as there are many versions of women, they deal with issues relating to sexuality, rape, motherhood, domestic violence, birth control and women involvement in economic development. If women’s activist movements lose their clear definition, Women’s activism politics will lose its momentum. Women’s activists are made, not born. Being born female does not simply give someone the privilege to advocate for feminist politics (Hooks, 72).
Suffrage is the right to vote or run for office, British colony of New Zealand was the first independent nation to give the right to vote to all adult women in 1893. In 1895 women were granted the right to run for Parliamentary seats. Suffrage movements were composed of men and women with diverse views; some sought to create change constitutionally while others felt that all adults whether male or female regardless of the race should have the right to vote, other members of these movements campaigned to ensure that there is no such thing as ‘a woman’s natural role’. These movements contributed significantly to the empowerment of women through winning suffrage. Women are now able to participate in the decision-making process regarding sensitive issues like reproductive rights and economic issues. This led to the rapid economic growth, and global development of capitalism (Holton, 183).
Some women feel that feminism is a creepy and loaded word, but others feel that feminism in modern life is better because it means you can have better sex, you can make your own decisions, and you are better placed to face the challenges that come your way. Feminism simply makes life better it enables you to find out why you’ve always felt as if something is missing, and why you may sometimes have felt like you are not smart or pretty enough. You should not live your life with the feeling that you are not good enough, and thus you have to change in one way or the other. Feminism helps people to boost their self-esteem. Success in most cases requires that one has self-confidence. Participation in the competitive workplace requires skills and experience, women in the workplace must be able to portray their skill in their respective assignments. This will always require that an individual has self-confidence (Valenti, 6-15).
Most of the people who live in United States were not born here, but came hoping for a better future, others came as a result of slavery. During slavery, racism and sexism led to the black woman having the lowest status in American society. The women’s activist movement was a white, middle, upper class affair which did not provide for the needs of black women. This led to racism and class elitism, which explains the reason why a very low number of black women had the courage to participate in women’s activist movements by 1970s. Studies show that 62 percent of black women supported efforts to change women’s status in 1972, compared to 45 percent of white women. This was because most of the white women were satisfied with things as they were, unlike the black women who felt oppressed, the feeling of oppression was the main reason why only a low number of black women participated in women’s activist movements (Valeti, 17).
A person from either sex can practice feminism. The feminism movement’s main goals are to liberate men as well as women and empower those who are oppressed either economically or socially. Empowering the populace of a nation leads to neoliberalism. Neoliberalism refers to economic or political philosophies that restrict the intervention of government in the economy of a nation. Neoliberalism encourages the growth of private sector, which improves the economy of a nation (Kirk and Okazawa, 8-10).